I’m honestly, kind of freaking out about the last few weeks in Bobcats history. 6 straight wins is a big deal. Legit chances in playoff hunt is a huge deal. Wheeling and dealing and making mini-roster moves to get ready for the playoffs and just getting set and ready under a legit coach and a front office that may have learned their lessons, even bigger. I’m looking for a little context. I feel like I’m not supposed to talk about it. I hit bobcatsplanet.com and there it is, uncharted territory, 6 straight, playoffs but shhhhh, are we really supposed to be talking about this? Isn’t it kind of like a no-hitter? No one talks about it until it’s over? I mean I was ready to be Randy Quaid in Major League for the next 2-3 years. I’m not even sure how to act exactly.
All I can think to do is look at the “recent” NBA expansion teams. 20 years work for you? The last important team to me in the NBA was of course, the Hornets of the 1988 expansion class. They came in with Miami. Miami has won a championship but that was like 2006? 18 years? New Orleans, Charlotte, you can’t really talk about what the Hornets are or what they’ve done because of the move and because of Katrina, right? They’re in good hands with Chris Paul and his current teammates.
1989 brought Minnesota, Orlando and yours truly’s first kiss. Yeah, 7 years old and I laid one on her, we were playing wedding because that’s the only way you could get the girls in the neighborhood to stay close enough to you to throw things at them, ahhh one of the twins, Lorrine or Lorraine and I’m not making up those names folks. Anyway, peak for Orlando could be right now or last year but really, it’s got to be the Shaq/Penny team that went to the finals and lost against Houston in one of the Jordanless years of the ’90s. Minnesota might have made a finals, maybe with KG? Actually, I don’t remember them as an expansion team but whatever, they’re up there in Minnesota, aye, who keeps up with them?
Nothing happened until 1995 when the Panthers came into existence along with the two teams that made the “National Basketball Association” “International” with Toronto and Vancouver. Toronto is still Toronto but The Grizzlies kept the name, lost Big Country and moved to Memphis, where there are no Grizzlies but there are plenty of guys you could call “Big Country.” Memphis has never really done anything, I can’t remember them making the playoffs, maybe once with Gasol? Toronto’s peak came over an All-Star Weekend when Tracy McGrady tossed an ally-oop to Vince Carter in the sickest Slam Dunk performance ever. We’ll actually research these in a minute, I’m just making a list right now, I think….
2004 our dearly beloved Bobcats came into existence and that would end our list, except Wikipedia claims Oklahoma City’s Thunder is an expansion team (though they maintain the roster of the Sonics?” First I’ve heard of this. Either way, they don’t count. Charlotte’s highest win total would be 33 and the biggest national moment would have to be Okafor’s Rookie of the Year award? Until the playoffs actually happen, I’m not sure if you can say the triple overtime Lakers victory or the Boston overtime victory or the Phoenix beatdown could measure up to Okafor’s ROY trophy on a national scale.
So, we’re in year 5 right now, 28-35, fourth in the Southeast and tied for 10th in the East, 1 game out of the 8th spot. How did the other expansion teams in my cognizant lifetime fare in the first 5 years? Hell, this is starting to feel like a research paper, more tomorrow or the next day…I’ve got some work to do.